DeKalb County is listed by the U.S. Department
of Justice’s National Drug Intelligence Center as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). The northern Atlanta city
of Dunwoody, a suburb within DeKalb County lines, has been targeted by various
Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) as particularly advantageous to
Dunwoody was incorporated as a city in 2008.
Its present population is under 50,000. It is known as a higher-end,
middle-class suburb; its largest employer is the InterContinental Hotel Group,
which presently maintains over 1000 full-time employees.
Dunwoody’s largest ongoing drug issues are its
widespread availability and abuse of cocaine, and the production, distribution,
and abuse of methamphetamine. Usage of both is most common among young male adults,
many in the workforce. The city’s increasing availability of both cocaine and
meth have undermined efforts to stem the growing tide. According to a 2010 DOJ
report, Dekalb County was then facing “an emerging threat” of controlled
prescription drugs and heroin. Those threats remain, but they have not notably
increased in the intervening years. Still, in 2018, CPDs are easily-acquired
and heroin is not difficult to find. Neither should be casually dismissed as
Atlanta, Georgia is a hub for Mexican DTOs. At
the turn of the decade, most of these DTOs moved their respective bases from
the busy metropolis of Atlanta to its surrounding state borders. Rural and
suburban communities were most affected. Dekalb County became a hub, and cells
fragmented further into Bartow, Cherokee, Forsyth, Barrow, Gwinnett, Henry, Fayette,
Clayton, Fulton, Douglas, and Cobb. The meth issue in all the listed areas
continues to experience a faster and more unpredictable growth pattern than that
Traffickers have taken advantage of Georgia’s
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), which was initiated in 2013.
Georgia was the last state in the country to introduce a PDMP by several years,
a fact that inadvertently aided in the growth of the CPD calamity. DTOs took
full advantage of the lack of a formal program. The state overhauled their PDMP
in late-2016, to address “gaps” in its implementation. During its overhaul, the
growing number of private pain management clinics in the state opened the doors
to widespread CPD diversion. Atlanta still struggles with the issue, despite
Opioids, presently in the news as a major
national crisis, are the most commonly-abused of all CPDs. The DOJ lists the
most frequently abused as the following: codeine, fentanyl (Duragesic, Actiq),
hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), morphine (MS Contin), oxycodone
(OxyContin), methadone (Dolophine), and hydrocodone combinations (Vicodin,
Lortab, and Lorcet).
According to the National Institute of Drug
Abuse, cocaine use has declined year-to-year from 2010 to 2015, before leveling
off. From 2010 to 2017, however, the state saw a year-to-year marked increase
of 25 to 34 year-olds seeking treatment from traditional public centers. In the
state proper, alcohol is the most abused substance, contributing to nearly 48%
of all center admissions. Marijuana remains Georgia’s most popular illegal
drug, with a yearly treatment average of 17% of all drug-related admissions. The
state’s current laws for the cultivation, sale, or trafficking of pot is fairly
strict, though many counties in the state, including Dunwoody’s DeKalb County, based
on severity of the crime offer treatment as an option to jail time. Things will
change, of course, if pot becomes legalized, but for now the restrictions
endure. Psychoactive drugs such as ecstasy (MDMA) account for less than .01 of
1% of all treatment center admissions.
Dunwoody maintains a
large number of treatment resources for your consideration, both private and
public. Regardless of the degree of your use, you will always be able to find a
resource that is workable for you.
The United Way of
Greater Atlanta, on their website www.unitedwayatlanta.org, offers an online
test, as derived by Helpline Georgia, to determine one’s addiction. The
questions include: “Do you ever use alone?” “Have you ever substituted one drug
for another, thinking one particular drug was the problem?” “Does the thought
of running out of drugs terrify you?” And, “Have you ever been in a jail, a
hospital, or a drug rehabilitation center because of your using?”
As with any other
self-diagnostic tool, consider the questions asked as exploratory only. You
must speak to a trained and licensed professional for any true diagnosis.
Still, such online tools such as this one can be extremely useful. The Helpline
Georgia questionnaire is perhaps one of the stronger such documents you will
find on the Internet. The questions, as you see above, are pointed. The answers
expected are honest.
If you can honestly
answer those questions, you may be validated, or you may dislike your
responses. If you were drawn to the tool, likely both will apply. Regardless,
consider your results, and then take necessary action.
There are nearly 30
questions in the questionnaire, which is highly recommend for anyone with
sincere concerns as to their personal substance usage. If the results bear out
that you may well be addicted, there are two Help Lines on the site, both of
which we’ll list here:
Georgia Crisis and Access Line – 1-800-273-8255; and
The Veteran’s Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255.
Both lines are open
24 hours, seven days a week. See the United Way website for a comprehensive
list of other available resources, including treatment and recovery centers.
A caveat: Even if
you don’t believe you are addicted, but are concerned that your usage is
growing, or that you may be on the cusp of a problem, the Georgia Crisis and
Access Line is there for you. You do not have to be on the far side of
addiction to reach out on their phone line and find a friendly voice on the
In the same spirit,
if you are drawn to use, but have not yet, the number is certainly available to
you as well. It is never too early, nor is it ever too late. These are tools
that have been formed for reason, and they are there for you.
and recovery centers frequently conduct their own intake services. Most
undertaking an intake will subsequently receive treatment at the same location.
Centers accepting Dunwoody residents that perform full intake services include
Peachford Hospital – a psychiatric facility on 2151 Peachford Road, in
Dunwoody. Call 770-454-2302, or visit www.peachford.com for further
For Pine Lake Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers, Atlanta Drug
Rehab Luxury Alcohol Rehabs, Scottsdale Drug Rehabs, Potterdale Drug Rehabs, or
Oxford Drug Rehabs, visit www.rehabs.com/local/, followed by your
preferred search city and -ga. (Example: www.rehabs.com/local/Atlanta-ga.)
Program ratings for
each location are available on the sites listed above. For a sample of an
intake application, please see www.adultdayofdunwoody.com.
Detox services for
Dunwoody proper, and the whole of DeKalb County, are centered throughout the
community, the largest being next door to Peachford Hospital, The Talbott
Recovery Dunwoody. They are located at 2153 Peachford Road, and can be reached
at the above phone number.
The most effective
resources for other Dunwoody detox services are found on www.DetoxLocal.com – enter your city name and press “search” for the
information you seek, or call 888-351-9839 – and www.PsychologyToday.com. Search for: Detox Treatment Centers
in Dunwoody, Georgia.
INPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES
in Dunwoody is not substantively different than most U.S. cities. Such services
can either be PHP (a partial hospitalization providing a highly-structured
environment, with typically active treatment of 30 hours per week), the
less-intensive IOP (intensive outpatient treatment plan, which requires up to
three hours daily over 3-5 days, for a total of nine hours weekly; therapy is
usually included, but the patient can live either at their own home or a
halfway house during the process), and an RTC (residential).
Talbott provides the
highest-rated of Dunwoody PHP services. For IOP or RTC services, please visit
the Psychology Today website, as listed above. Some of the more well-reviewed
IOP or RTC resources include Skyland Trail, Center for Discovery (a six-bed
residential treatment home for boys and girls aged 10-17 years), The Berman
Center, and Evening Recovery Program. All of these resources are listed on the
Psychology Today site, along with specific information on each.
OUTPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES
For a list of
highly-reviewed outpatient treatment options, a list of Centered Recovery
Programs is a positive start. Visit www.centeredrecoveryprograms.com. CRP is known as a
“holistic drug and alcohol rehab center,” which utilizes a mindfulness-based
12-step program. Their direct telephone number is 833-228-9014.
full-service entity, also has an acclaimed outpatient program, entitled Talbott
Recovery Dunwoody. Talbott is a member location of the highly-acclaimed national
Foundations Recovery Network, best known for their state-of-the-art treatment
facilities. Visit www.foundationsrecoverynetwork for more
information, or call 888-365-0685.
AFTERCARE AND SOBER LIVING RESOURCES
As ever, Psychology
Today’s website is a comprehensive resource for all of your post-rehab or
aftercare options. For your sober living options, www.projectknow.com maintains a list of Dunwoody sober houses. Please
contact 877-346-5318. Perhaps better yet, a simple search of the online yellow
pages contains additional listings, inclusive of client ratings, web addresses
and phone numbers. See www.yellowpages.com/Dunwoody-ga/sober-living.
Another sober living
facilities listing can be found at www.soberliving.interventionamerica.org. This site
maintains a star review system. Five stars represents the highest-rated sober
living houses on their page, which includes New Day Treatment Center, Tangu
Inc., Southside Medical Center, Saint Judes Recovery Center, Road to Recovery,
Inc., and Mary Hall Freedom House, among others.
The Arches Recovery
Residences is an entity considered both a group home and a sober house. It’s
facilities also have particularly strong reputations. They can be reached at
404-991-3575. Hope Homes Recovery sober houses have been in existence since
1996. They presently have two facilities for men, and two for women. Their
phone number is 877-355-1141. See www.homehopesrecovery.org for their website.
DeKalb County has
been highly proactive in its efforts to curb its drug issues. According to www.drugabuse.gov, the largest current
apprehension is that heroin usage will evolve. The fear relates to its growing
availability through the state’s DTOs, and a perception of increasing affordability.
Unemployment in DeKalb County, as with most U.S. sectors at the time of this
writing (January of 2018), is at a near record-low. The economy is booming, and
there is no indication of a correction any time soon.
Savvy DTOs have
taken advantage of their new opportunity. Further economic growth will be a
large determinant as to where and how the illicit drug battle will change, or
remain stagnant, from here forward. Current politics and ongoing issues
regarding illegal immigration will surely have an effect.
As many DTOs have
left larger metropolitan areas in favor of smaller communities, as mentioned earlier, so
too with Atlanta. Dunwoody is primed to pivot, positively or negatively, based
on several outside factors over and above politics and ever-changing social
policy. Where the DTOs will earn the most, where they will be considered “safe”
from the local authorities or the federal government, where they can operate
and continue to do so – and for how long a time – will all play a role.
The drug battle is
ongoing. The availability will continue to be present, and, for many, so will
the temptation. But the help is out there.
Dunwoody, Georgia is
a city in DeKalb County that is particularly active and supportive as it
regards the fight against addiction. The centers listed above have been
positively reviewed, and friendly staff are readily available to meet your
needs. Let the buyer beware, of course. Be sure to read all reviews including
the negative, prior to selecting your treatment options. If you know of others
who have been through these programs, speak to them. If you have a sponsor, all
the better. Always do your own research as well.
You will become your
own best friend in this process.